Antarctic Sea Ice

Antarctic sea ice is the sea ice of the Southern Ocean. It extends from the far north in the winter and retreats to almost the coastline every summer, getting closer and closer to the coastline every year due to sea ice melting. Sea ice is frozen seawater that is usually less than a few meters thick. This is the opposite of ice shelves, which are formed by glaciers, they float in the sea, and are up to a kilometre thick. There are two subdivisions of sea ice: fast ice, which are attached to land; and ice floes, which are not. Sea ice that comes from the Southern Ocean melts from the bottom instead of the surface like Arctic ice because it is covered in snow on top. As a result, melt ponds are rarely observed. On average, Antarctic sea ice is younger, thinner, warmer, saltier, and more mobile than Arctic sea ice. Sea ice is not studied very well in comparison to Arctic ice since it is less accessible.

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